[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Posada...Terrorists...and July 26th

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Posada...Terrorists...and July 26th

Those are the subjects of three articles/editorials published in today's Miami Herald.

Leading off:

- Looks like Luis Posada Carriles is not going to have an easy time of it in immigration court if yesterday's hearing in El Paso is any indication.

One thing I'd like to point out from the article is something disturbing the judge said during the hearing (emphasis mine):

Judge William L. Abbott cited allegations that Posada is a terror suspect and concerns he would flee if granted bond.

Listing a series of terror allegations against Posada over the years, Abbott said even Posada's participation in operations against Cuba in the early 1960s could be considered terror under today's standards.

Abbott's statement seemed to catch by surprise Posada's lawyer, Matthew Archambeault, who interpreted it to mean the judge would include the Bay of Pigs invasion -- sponsored by the U.S. government -- as an act of terror under today's definition of terrorism.

''It doesn't necessarily matter who helped it,'' the judge said, in response. ``The question is whether that kind of activity today would be defined as aiding terrorism or participating in acts of terrorism.''

Maybe I'm missing something here, but the Bay of Pigs invasion could be considered a terrorist act? Wow.

- Next up is a letter to the editor by Wayne S. Smith, ex-chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, executive secretary of President Kennedy's Latin American Task Force, and Castro apologist supreme (emphasis mine):

The Herald's July 18 article Former official: Reduce Cuba tensions, on my presentation in Coral Gables, omitted any reference as to why I called for an easing of tensions and a lifting of travel controls between the United States and Cuba.

The story notes that many exiles support the embargo and other sanctions against the island ``as a legitimate foreign-policy tool to pressure the Cuban government into allowing changes that would bring democracy.''

My point was that the embargo has not had that effect in 45 years and will not have it now. Neither will restricting the travel of Cuban Americans and other Americans. That causes pain and suffering to Cuban families, but has no effect whatever on Fidel Castro. I've been in Cuba three times this year and can testify that tourism was booming. There are fewer Americans and Cuban Americans. But that was more than made up for by increased numbers of Canadians, Europeans and Latin Americans, especially Venezuelans.

The idea that the Castro government is in its last throes is delusional.

With a new economic relationship with both China and Venezuela and a new oil field off the north coast, its economy (though still with problems) is in absolutely no danger of collapse.

In short, our sanctions are not only ineffectual, they are counterproductive -- and they do make life more difficult for Cuban families. When a policy hasn't worked in 45 years, isn't it time to try something else?

WAYNE S. SMITH, senior fellow, Center for International Policy, Washington, D.C.

Not convinced of Smith's pro-Castro leanings? Then check out his Center for International Studies Cuba Policy site.

- Want a response to Wayne Smith's letter? Read no further than this excellent editorial written by the Herald Editorial Board. Ironic how the print version of the paper has this only three inches to the left of Smith's ridiculous and erroneous letter. Kind of like saying, "readers, the truth is right over here".

For more great analysis and comments on the editorial, please check out these posts from Babalu and Paxety Pages.


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